Frailty is as important as any other health condition. In fact, frailty affects many people, especially as they age, and can be an important indicator of health problems to come.  Many frail people will not be diagnosed until they have a serious fall that results in hospitalization. They may become bed-ridden and in need of a lot of care at home.

The Canadian Frailty Network defines frailty as “a state of health where the person's overall wellbeing and ability to function independently are reduced and vulnerability to deterioration are increased.  People who are frail tend to spend more time in hospital, are less likely to return to their own home, are more likely to need care support if they do go home, and are also likely to have extended stays in long-term care.”  Frailty affects people from diverse backgrounds, all with their own unique needs and abilities. Today, frailty is a diagnosis with real and harmful consequences.

As a caregiver, you may be unsure how to identify frailty in your loved one, and how to help them.  This short video provides foundational information on what frailty is, how to recognize the onset, and how to reduce the risk. 

The Nova Scotia Health Authority has a few good handouts on frailty that can help - Understanding Frailty, Frailty Stagesand Frailty and Social Connections

Caregiver Tips

If you have a frail loved one is an article citing Canadian date from White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio.


Learn how to AVOID frailty and take control with these steps from the Canadian Frailty Network. 



The Palliative and Therapeutic Harmonization (PATH) Clinic have developed The Frailty App to help health care providers identify frailty.  Knowing about frailty can help you as a caregiver to:

  • Understand overall health and level of frailty, and how it can affect current and future health
  • Be more informed about what to expect in the future
  • Talk about strategies and choose treatments, with health care providers, that can contribute to better quality of life
  • Ensure you, the caregiver, get the support you may need

The Frailty App is meant to be completed in collaboration with a health care provider.  ASK your loved one’s health care provider about using The Frailty App.   

Download from the App Store here. 
Download from Google Play here.